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how do i know if i am going thru early menopause - I'm only 43

Posted by Debra S.

I got my monthly on Feb 2nd had a regular cylce about a week later had been spotting and passed a 1-1/2 in clott/tissue like something (had sharp right sided pain about a half an hour before) have been spotting and abnormal bleeding since. My doctor put me on an HRT - provera for 10 days (that was 2 weeks ago) to hopefully regulate my cycle but am at the time of month where my reg. cycle should be, has not come, but am still spotting.
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Hi Debra,

I was 43 when I started perimenopause and began at first having irregular cycles, then bleeding and spotting most of each month became the norm, with clots and tissue often passed.  My MD wanted to give me HRT to regulate also, I decided against it.

You can have your hormones checked via blood test and saliva test to ascertain if you are indeed in perimenopause (the beginning stage of menopause).  The sharp pain may have been an ovarian cyst or it may have been the normal follicular cyst that breaks open to release an egg as a normal part of your cycle.  

If you continue to have pain, you might want to get an ultrasound to check for sure.

If indeed this is perimenopause, don't panic if you bleed often or a lot.  Read below blog entry/wellsphere answer first.

Recently on one of the health websites where I am privileged to be an ?expert? on Menopause, www. wellsphere. com,
a member raised a question about bleeding for over a month solid. Of peri- menopausal age, she was under- standably worried. Most of us think of menopause as a time of skipping or diminishing periods until they cease altogether. Because this question comes up frequently and because it was the case in my perimenopausal transition, I?m reprinting my answer to her for all concerned goddesses.

?Actually, it CAN be normal. Heavy and/or prolonged bleeding during perimenopause can be a normal variant. I had my period every other week (and heavy flows) for a little over a year. Because prolonged bleeding (called dysfunctional uterine bleeding) can be a symptom of more serious conditions, it is important to be checked out by a physician. A pelvic ultrasound and/or endometrial biopsy can rule out pathology. Even if no serious condition is found, you must be monitored for anemia. Regular red blood cell and hemoglobin counts are recommended. I simply increased my intake of red meat and took iron supplements and was never anemic.

Even in the absence of disease, if bleeding persists, your MD may recommend a ?simple? D & C (dilation and curettage) or even hysterectomy. I?d get a second opinion or even a third. Remember that NO surgical procedure is simple - each has risks, including that of general anesthesia. A good rule of thumb is to always try the least interventional remedy first.

It took me three tries to find an enlightened gynecologist who felt that heavy bleeding was a normal variant. After ultrasounds and an endometrial biopsy (performed in her office) returned as ?normal with menopausal thickening of uterine lining), together we monitored me for anemia and eventually I began skipping periods as I continued on my menopause journey.

Hope this helps - let me know if you have further questions. For more info - check out our blogsite at Good luck. Lynette Sheppard RN.?

On a further note: I cannot tell you how many of my nurse-friends had D & C?s or hysterectomies after three weeks of bleeding. When they went to their OB-GYN?s, understandably a little freaked out, those were usually the only recommendations. While a surgical procedure may end up being the right choice for you, it is not necessarily the only or best one. I?ve said it before and I?ll say it again. You MUST be in charge of your own health care education and decisions. Still have questions? Click on the ?Contact Us? button at the top right of my blogsite at  For more info, you can also pick up a copy of my book "The Big M" at 
Good luck - please let us know how it goes!

All my best,

Lynette Sheppard RN

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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